seen as being a poverty-stricken third world country,
Brazil boasts one of the best heath-care systems in the
world with a ratio of doctors to people that would make
the developed world proud. Nonetheless, as with any travel,
certain health and safety precautions do need to be considered.
To assist you, the following are highlights of some issues
on health and safety in Brazil:
Brazil"s major illnesses center on the fact of it being
a tropical country. In this regard, nearly all of Brazil"s
potentially serious illness are carried and transmitted
by mosquitoes. Needless to say, avoid mosquito bites is
a very sensible approach to take in Brazil. However, by
and large this may be impractical. To try as best you
can to avoid mosquitoes, try not to use perfumes and after-shaves;
use a mosquito net when you sleep (ideally this will also
be impregnated with pyrethrum, a mosquito repellent);
and also impregnate your clothes with pyrethrum. If practical
and possible, wear light clothes with long sleeves and
Among the major illnesses you may contract, are:
- malaria: malaria is contracted via
mosquito bites. Symptoms of the illness manifest themselves
as a fever, chills and sweating, headaches, diarrhea,
and abdominal pains. Although potentially fatal, the disease
can be avoided if you are willing to take preventative
medication before, during, and after your journey.
- dengue fever: dengue fever is contracted
via mosquito bites (importantly, these need to be mosquito
bites that you get during daylight hours). Symptoms of
the illness include the onset of a high fever, headache,
joint muscle pains, nausea and vomiting. In certain cases
you may also contract a rash of red spots 3 to 4 days
after the onset of the fever. Usually dengue fever can
be avoided by avoiding highly densely populated urban
squalors, where the disease is more prevalent than elsewhere.
In the event that you think you may have dengue fever,
as a medical professional to give you a blood test to
confirm this suspicion.
- rabies: rabies is prevalent in most
third-world nations, and South America is no different
in this respect. A cautionary note is that rabies is contracted
via infected animals - so don"t think the stray dog is
cute and fed it! If you think you may have been infected,
or if you have been bitten or licked by an animal unknown
to you or anyone nearby, take yourself off the hospital
for a course of preventive injections - rabies is not
a pleasant way to die!
- yellow fever: yellow fever is yet
another of the illnesses you can contract in Brazil via
a mosquito bite! Symptoms include a mild fever that develops
into a full-blown fever, headaches, muscle pains, abdominal
pain and vomiting. In a worst case scenario, kidney failure
is a possibility. Symptoms of the illness also include
a jaundice yellow look about you with clear white eyes
(hence the name of the illness). Note that in most cases
yellow fever can be avoided by means of an immunization
vacation before you depart for your holiday.
As a tropical nation, Brazil may have a number of illnesses
that are not standard or common in your home country.
As such, please make sure that you seek a consultation
with your medical practitioner before you leave and ask
what advice they would give to anyone traveling to Brazil.
For peace of mind sake, you should also seek a consultation
with your medical practitioner upon your return home from
your travels in Brazil.
Hospitals, clinics and pharmacies in Brazil
Brazil has an estimated 16,000 hospitals, clinics and
local health centers where you can safely visit and be
attended to by one of Brazil's estimated 200,000 qualified
physicians. Brazil also boast some of the most advanced
medical care available globally and some of the cheapest.
Note, however, that Brazil's Joint Health System has also
been said to be one of the largest health networks in
the world today.
Safety Issues in Brazil
Overall Brazil is a safe country to travel in. However,
there is a rather large disparity between rich and poor
and poverty is a big social problem. Consequently, petty
property crimes (such as pick pocketing) are known to
occur. That said, provided you adopt a common sense approach
to safety issues, don't travel outside areas where you
are conspicuous, and are not flaunting your wealth (for
example, gold chains and Rolex watches), you should be